The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Director (RD) for East and Horn of Africa, Mr. Mohamed Abdiker paid a courtesy visit to the Principal Secretary (PS) for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Macharia Kamau on 13 September 2019. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for host country relations, engagement with UN Agencies including IOM,international organizations and political diplomatic missions. Kenya was the first African member state to join IOM in 1985 and played a critical role in mobilizing membership of other African countries. The RD presented a plaque to the PS to appreciate the partnership between IOM and the Government of Kenya.
Mr. Abdiker underscored, “the good working relationship between IOM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has led to partnerships and cooperation in various areas. IOM is also working collaboratively with other government Ministries, Departments and Agencies including but not limited to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Directorate of Immigration Services, and the National Coordination Mechanism on Migration (NCM).Among others, IOM provides technical support including capacity building, provision of equipment and software such as facial recognition technology in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airport.” He added that IOM supported the government with the establishment of the AfricanUnion Institute of Remittances in Nairobi as well as the Kenya Institute of Migration Studies (KIMS) domiciled at the University of Nairobi. IOM works on reintegration support for more than 700 direct beneficiaries in close coordination with the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) under the Executive Office of the President.
Amb. Kamau emphasized that, “the Government of Kenya is willing to continue working with IOM in addressing migration related challenges and opportunities. Migration is an issue of concern in the 21st Century, the problem is not migration but the boundaries that create artificial barriers. However, issues of territoriality, national boundaries, political and social economic priorities need to be acknowledged and appreciated.” He remarked as well that there is need to develop sophisticated ways of dealing with migration that have no discriminatory tendencies either by race origin, colour, age or gender, and this requires a sophisticated discussion as all persons and individuals are migrants in one way or another. Amb. Kamau also acknowledged the efforts of IOM in partnering with MFA to co-host the Diaspora Forum in the recently concluded TICAD VII.
On 29 August 2019 during the TICAD VII, the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Directorate of Diaspora Affairs), Kenyans in Japan Association (KIJA), African Union and IOM organized a Diaspora Forum entitled “Leveraging Diaspora for Knowledge, Skills and Innovation Exchange and Sharing to Strengthen Africa-Japan Development Partnership for Sustainable Industrialization.” The Forum was attended by over 150 delegates and representing various African diaspora and international organizations. A Diaspora Forum in Kenya is envisaged with the MFA’s leadership in partnership with IOM.
The Government of Kenya is working on the enabling environment to effectively respond to the migration dynamics in the country and in the region. Through the Kenya NCM, it has published its 2018 Migration Profile. And safe migration information for prospective migrant worker (to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates) has been consolidated by the government in the www.kenyamigrantworker.org, which is crossposted in the MFA website. Kenya NCM recently convened a national conference focused on the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) objectives.
Kenya hosts three IOM offices: IOM Kenya Country Office (including sub-offices in Kakuma, Dadaab and Mombasa, and satellite offices in Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu); IOM Somalia Office in Nairobi; and the IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa.